Saturday, November 14, 2009
I spent a lot of time going through pictures taken during the riots that took place in Brixton, London in April of 1981, it was hard to choose one, I didn't want to pick anything too explicitly powerful, or anything with a copyright notice on it, both of which were hard.
T. J. Johnson emigrated to the UK from the Caribbean as a youth and produced this record for the London based Switch label in 1982 in the aftermath of the riots, and the storied apex of the UK disco funk scene. Events such as the Brixton riots and the evolution of multi cultural Britain obviously influenced T. J as much of his later independant work right up to the modern day has socially aware lyrical inspiration. He still makes records and gigs on the European soul, funk, and blues circuit, as guitarist for a few bands and leading a couple of his own, although his earliest disco work is mostly forgotten amongst all the session work he did later on in the eighties. He was very much the UK Niles Rogers, both in his guitar technique (which was still distinctly his own) and the quality of his chops.
I have been collecting and championing lesser (and greater) known UK boogie for a while, but of all the rare grails, the most heavy, most monstrous, most dance floor destroying cuts to come out of the early eighties South London funk scene for me must be the first two T. J. Johnson records, the second of which 'I Can Make It (Good For You) / Dragonfly' I posted a while ago, and the first of which, 'Pretty Lady/Lets Do It (Lets Rock)' I'm posting now. Despite 'Pretty Lady' being a small underground hit in the UK I think this is an internet first, so all you thieving funk blogs get ready to repost the rip on zshare.
I haven't posted a secret weapon in a while, I have been holding back for some reason, mostly by some ultra whack hard electro remixes I heard that were sourced from tracks off of the site, but then the other day I remembered what the whole point of this site was meant to be in the first place, and what does it matter. So that being said, here is another one that sends the other DJ's on the lineup home early to jump on ebay. Good luck.
Posted by Black Shag |